FBI will start tracking animal cruelty cases from January, next year. At the moment, any form of crime regarding animal cruelty is reported in a “catch-all” category.All crimes which can’t be placed under a particular category are allotted this category. Crimes reported in police stations from all over the country are stored in their databases.
However, this method is extremely inefficient. The FBI has stated that this provides inconclusive data as to how many reports of animal abuse related crimes are there overall or from a particular region, whether these reports are increasing in number and whether there is a particular location which contributes the most. In order to combat these negative aspects of the current system, the FBI believed it was time to open an entirely new category for animal cruelty.
“Empirical data is important. It’s going to give us information about animal cruelty crime so we can plan better about intervention and prevention.” stated Mary Lou Randour, who is the senior adviser for animal cruelty programs and training at the Animal Welfare Institute.
She also informed that this data is crucial to putting an end to animal abuse in the country. It can also help in identifying individuals who are extremely antisocial and have violent behaviour, since such cases are mostly caused by these individuals. One who can commit animal cruelty may later go on to commit much more hideous crimes and hence, are a threat to the society. This system will help them track down such incidents faster with much more accuracy.
She also stated in such cases, the person is involved is in complete control of the situation. Hence, if someone is willing to cause so much pain to harmless animals, then it can be expected that he or she won’t think twice before inflicting similar pain to a toddler or even an adult.
The National Link Coalition is involved in finding out the adverse effects of animal cruelty on the general public. They found out that if these crimes occur in front of a child, he or she may no longer be able to understand others’ emotions properly and may lack in empathy when they grow up.
Randour added that someone involved in an unhappy marriage or someone who is depressed, may also use animal abuse as a form of control. In fact, there is strong evidence supporting this fact – several serial killers used to abuse animals when they were young.
Starting from January 2016, all these incidents will be filed under mainly 4 categories –
- Intentional abuse and torture
- Organized abuse
- Animal sexual abuse.
Earlier, reports of animal abuse were often neglected and not even reported sometimes. Fortunately, public awareness regarding this subject has increased significantly over the past few years.
For example, recently a Baltimore officer was accused to have slit a dog’s threat. Although he stated that he was only attempting to put the dog out of its misery, investigation later discovered that he did it on purpose.
John Thompson, deputy executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association, was the one who helped the FBI in bringing about this change. Although animal abuse wasn’t taken seriously in the past, at present several police departments take strict action in such cases.There’s also a dedicated team of 4 people in the Baltimore Police Department, which initially consisted of only one person in 2009.
The data received will be analysed thoroughly, which can take up to 5 years, according to Thompson. This data will hopefully find out patterns as well as backgroundsof these abusers.
Smith-Blackmore, a forensic veterinarian claims this data will be extremely significant, since she has found out that it’s the same dysfunctional people who harm these animals over and over.
Hopefully, this new change will finally lead to the complete eradication of animal abuse.
Source : tri-cityherald